SALSA DANCING. HOW TO MAKE BETTER DIPS AS A LEADER
I assume you’ve been dancing for at least some time. Otherwise, I would never encourage beginner students to do Salsa dips because I know there’s a lot of room for errors, many of which I’ve experienced myself. Therefore, with a big disclaimer, I want to share some pointers with you that will help you ensure that your depths are safe; they look great and feel smooth to the follower.
So here are the top three tips in Salsa dancing for dipping your partner.
Tip # 1: Dips shouldn’t feel like a fall.
You push the button, and the elevator goes down. In a good elevator, you don’t feel that drop, right? You don’t feel the elevator going up or down. You look up, and you only see the numbers increasing or decreasing. That’s how a dip should feel.
One of the most common mistakes I made was turning my partner from a cross-body lead into a dip that would always feel like a sudden drop. Though that might be exciting for many followers, It’s scary for most. So consequently, I’ve learned that resisting the fall and lowering her down is a better experience for them. And also, it’s safer for you because if you have too much momentum and you’re tossing your partner and your partner doesn’t know how to hold their core to support themselves, you can injure your neck, your shoulders or your lower back.
Tip #2: Being at the right place at the right time.
I wish my instructor had told me that half of your body needs to be further ahead of your partner whenever you do a dip. This position is hard to explain without an in-person demonstration, but you want it to be between your feet and center of gravity if you’re trying to lift something or someone. And so when you are getting ready to dip a partner, you turn them, and then you bring them down; you should have your left foot where your partner’s head is. So your body is further ahead while your partner’s torso is in the center of your core. This precaution makes a dip safer for you and your partner because you have more support.
To illustrate further, think of it as doing a deadlift. You want to be at the center of the bar to have the weight evenly distributed.
Tip #3: Focus on the hands.
A common misconception is that when you do a dip, you have to go down with your partner. So when you bend down, you lower your hands, and the torso follows. There are some dips like that, but most of them, the good ones, are where the leader stays upright, and only the hands come down.
Suppose your partner loses balance or doesn’t know how to hold their core from this position; you can pull them back because you’re upright.
And finally, as a bonus tip, just remember, don’t do dips on people that you’ve never danced to before. My general rule of thumb is I dance with someone, and if I feel comfortable with him and they feel comfortable with me, I will do a dip in the next song.
Why? Because dips can be dangerous and scary, I want to ensure I have trust and comfort with my partner. There are many tricks I can teach, and I hope this brings you a lot of value. As long as you keep it safe for you and your partner, dips are a great move to have fun dancing Salsa.
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